Darwin's 200th birthday (Updated)

There is so much to say about Charles Darwin and evolution that I’m going to try to say as much as I can when I get back (like the fact that religion and science aren’t mutually exclusive). For now, I have a meeting to attend.

Enjoy the video:

Rachel Maddow and her guest point out that Americans have been basically split between believing in evolution and creationism for a long long time. This should come as no surprise to most Americans. Let’s just think about this for a second. Most Americans believe that atoms makeup all matter. But almost no one can describe for you how an atom works. How many Americans can describe adequately what a neutron is? A particle that has mass but no charge. How many Americans can describe the orbit of an electron? This is simple high school physics. Yet, I bet that over 70% of Americans would have problems describing the orbit of electron. Then, take it to the next level, pun intended, could Americans describe the phenomenon of all electrons being in discreet orbits around the nucleus but yet cannot exist anywhere between those orbits? What about subatomic particles, how many Americans could describe quarks and leptons and anti-leptons? This is our problem. We, as Americans, our science deficient. Yet, science is all around us. From the electricity that is running my computer to the chemistry that allows sugar to dissolve in my tea, we are a very science deficient society.

The last thing I will say about Darwin and his 200th birthday is as Matt (see his comment) noted, Charles Darwin wanted to be a minister. Therefore, he had problems resolving what he saw with his understanding of religion. Now, for those of you who believe in religion, let me weave a tale for you. One of the tenets of the Judeo-Christian heritage is that God is all-knowing. Therefore, if God created the universe, he created the laws that the universe is run by. We call these laws – science. Therefore, since God is all-knowing, and he set the laws by which our world works, why wouldn’t he know what the end product was going to be? Yes, the theory of natural selection, evolution, is about survival of the fittest. It is about the species that is most adapted to his environment, surviving. Although we live in an incredibly complex system, wouldn’t God no what the final outcome would be? My answer is yes. Therefore, it is possible to believe in religion and God and also try to understand our world through science.

My two cents. More great stuff on Darwin by Richard Dawkins.